Cyber-Safety Committee launches on-line survey for seniors

Federal parliament’s Cyber-Safety Committee has today launched an on-line Australian seniors’ cyber-safety survey. The aim of the survey is to find out what older Australians think about online services and to give all senior Australians the opportunity to tell the committee about their concerns and experiences using the internet.

The committee invites everyone aged 55 and over to take part in the Australian seniors’ cyber-safety survey. Participation in the survey is anonymous and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

The survey is part of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety’s inquiry into cyber-safety for senior Australians. The committee’s report will make recommendations aimed at ensuring Australian law, policy and programs represent best practice for the cyber-safety of senior Australians. This includes consumer protection, financial security and protecting personal information, and the safe use of social networking sites.

Australians 55 and over are the fastest growing group of internet users but, according to the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA), they are still vastly underrepresented among internet users as a proportion of Australia’s overall population.

Committee Chair Senator Catryna Bilyk said: “The Committee’s brief is to investigate specific threats to the online security of senior Australians, and to consider what is needed to help older people over the growing ‘digital divide’ in society. The committee is of course aware that computer use varies among older people, as does their familiarity with cyber-safety issues. While many older Australians are very computer savvy – regularly using ‘skype’ to stay in touch with their grandchildren, or doing research online or a little blogging – many others are not confident about accessing the internet.”

“I hope many senior Australians will take the time to fill in the survey online, or print it out and return it to the Committee in hard copy. The views and experiences of all senior Australians, and those of their family and friends, will make this inquiry worthwhile.”

To take part in the survey or for information about the inquiry, please go to: www.aph.gov.au/cybersafety-seniors.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Media comment: contact the Committee Chair Senator Catryna Bilyk on
(02) 6277 3349 or mobile 0419 694 512.
Background: contact the Inquiry Secretary (02) 6277 4202